Frank Colegrove, 58, decided he was going to get the weight off for good. Weighing 258 pounds, he was tired of taking medication for high blood pressure and diabetes.
Entering the contest was his first step, after years of struggling with a weight that would go up and down.
His wife, DeAnn Colegrove, has been encouraging. She said he always told her he wanted to “look good for her.”
While the airport maintenance worker has the encouragement of his wife and supervisor, he understands that he must do the work for himself.
“You can’t just listen to somebody, what someone tells you to do,” he said. “It’s one of those things you’ve got to do on your own.”
Colegrove began running in his neighborhood or on his treadmill at home. The results gave him the boost to keep going.
“Once I started doing my exercises, I felt better,” he said. “Once you start doing the exercising, you just keep a-going.”
Before, he’d eat all day long, which included unhealthy snacks, hamburgers and soft drinks. For at least six years, he’d been on medications for high blood pressure and diabetes. Within a month of his weight loss, his health improved. Today, he’s completely off blood pressure medicine and his doctor cut the diabetes medication in half.
“I hate taking medicine, and that gives me some encouragement,” he said. “It’s a good feeling not to have to take it.”
He has a weak spot for sweets, but he gets back on track when he falls of the wagon. He replaced the chips and other unhealthy snacks with fruit and replaced soda with unsweetened tea.
Colegrove looks forward to he and his wife’s 30th year anniversary cruise to Belize. He said with his slimmer and healthier self, he’ll be able to enjoy it more.
Mrs. Colegrove had gastric bypass surgery 10 years ago, losing 148 pounds. Throughout the years, she’s put back on about 35 pounds.
“He and I have struggled for the entire 30 years,” she said. “We loved to eat out. We love food.”
As a couple, they make decisions about what they are doing to eat before they go to a restaurant.
Mrs. Colegrove joined Lighten Up East Texas Friday, the last day to weigh in. His persistence has inspired her.
“He’s doing so well, and I’m so proud of him,” she said. “He’s taken ownership of it. … It’s not that he’s trying to win any prize. He wants to win his life back. I am ready to join him in it because he’s made that step for himself, and now we’re going to finish it together.”